Sign In

The Princess Bride (1987) - The Criterion Collection

Replies
70
Author
Time
The Princess Bride (1987) - The Criterion Collection

http://www.geocities.com/bdevrieze/LD320.jpg

=============================================================================
DVD Details
=============================================================================

Disc One (DVD-5):
-Letterboxed widescreen capture
-Original Stereo Soundtrack
-Audio commentary by Rob Reiner, William Goldman,
Andrew Scheinman, Billy Crystal, and Peter Falk
-Rob Reiner reads excerpts from William Goldman's
novel The Princess Bride

Disc Two (DVD-5):
-Behind the scenes footage:
-On the high seas
-Fezzik, Vizzini, and Buttercup
-Westley and Fezzik
-Miracle Max's hut
-Buttercup, the King, and the Queen
-Rob Reiner's production scrapbook
-Norman Garwood's production sketches
-William Goldman's tapestry
-"Morton and Hayes": Excerpt
-DVD-ROM extras*

=============================================================================
Preservation Ratonale
=============================================================================
I don't have enough fingers to count how many times this movie has been released in the United States on home video, but I have quite a few of them: the old laser-rotten Criterion CAV, the recently purchased '97 Criterion CAV, the studio Pan-n-Scan laserdisc, the original letterboxed DVD, and the Special Edition DVD. To the new "super-deluxe-availble-in-pink-or-blue-edition," I say WTF? As a quintuple-owner, I guess it's my fault for giving them cause to re-re-....-re-re-release the movie, but it's getting quite ridiculous.

Hence, I decided to bring the '97 Criterion CAV edition, which I feel is the best of the bunch still, to the fan-preservation community.

Here's some more information on the release, per the liner notes:

"It was my happiest movie experience." --William Goldman
When we asked William Goldman to join us in the production of this tent-anniversary release, he said, "I am very protective of The Princess Bride. It's one of the only things I've written that I like." For a moment, it seemed that this long-overdue special edition of one of Criterion's all-time favorites was over before we'd begun it.
But Goldman invited us to view an exquisite tapestry, based on the film, that he commissioned for his home. And, as if some sort of spell had been woven into it fibers, things began to fall into place. The usually taciturn Rob Reiner coaxed Goldman to join him and producer Andrew Scheinman on the commentary track. Reiner's second for Criterion, Reiner himself had taken the time to record a two-and-a-half-hour audio cassette version of the book (you can hear excerpts from it on analog 1). We found out that Billy Crystal enjoyed the making of The Princess Bride so much that he based an upcoming film on his on-set experiences with Andre the Giant. Peter Falk told us that, at the screening, he had never known less about what he was about to see or been more delighted with the results.
All shared wonderful stories with us, and all looked back with that rarest of Hollywood commodities: fond memories. Woven like the tapestry, somewhere between Florin and Guilder, the experience of filming The Princess Bride holds a special place in the hearts of all who worked on it.
We hope you enjoy this edition as much as we enjoyed producing it.


=============================================================================
Technical Details
=============================================================================
I contemplated harvesting the video from either on of my DVDs, but that's not really fair to those companies that produced them, so I went ahead and captured the video from the laserdisc. It's nothing exceptional, and the color is a little off, but the important things (the audio tracks) are intact.

Fans of the film will notice gaps between some video segments that aren't supposed to be there. In overlaying the novel excerpts, Criterion allowed the narration to run past the last frame on a few of the side changes. To keep the audio complete, I decided to fill up the extra space with black frames. If you watch the film with its soundtrack, you'll notice the gaps.

I will likely play around with the artwork too, but it's mostly done.

Source: The 1997 Criterion Collection's CAV laserdisc, spine No. 320. Luckily I was able to scoop up a still-sealed copy on eBay earlier this month. I put all other projects on temporary hiatus while I work on this.

Hardware: Pioneer CLD-D704 --> Dazzle DVC90 --> shitbox computer
Software: Pinnacle Studio10 to capture, VirtualDubMod/AVISynth to splice and process, CCE 9-pass to encode video, SonicFoundry SoftEncode 5.1 to encode AC3 audio, and Adobe Photoshop and Encore to build the menus and DVD, respectively.

*Extras: A 300-dpi copy of the above artwork, including disc artwork, and the little "Special Edition" sticker. MP3s of the two audio commentary files, so if you find my video too distracting, you can author your own DVDs with video from those. Also, you can load the mp3's into your iPod or iRiver or whatever trendy doo-dad you have prefixed by a diminutive vowel. Also included: a booklet containing some essays about the film (the Goldman essay from the '97 release, as well as the old essay from the '89-ish release), a Criterion laserdisc checklist I made, and all of my .avs and excel spreadsheets I used. Kind of an "open source" thing.

=============================================================================
Distribution
=============================================================================
Like my She's Gotta Have It project, I will send out free copies to the first five who contact me, and just let people trade from there. I don't have any interest in torrenting or otherwise uploading the discs, but if someone else wants to, you have my blessing.

=============================================================================
Project Status
=============================================================================
Disc one is done, and I'm still working on disc two. I wanted to post this thread before I got the set done because I wanted to gauge the interest. There wasn't much interest in the She's Gotta Have It set, so if there's similar interest in this, then I won't worry too much about getting it done. If there is, it will light the fire under me.
Criterion Projects done: She's Gotta Have It, The Princess Bride, The Fisher King

In Progress Criterions: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (99% done), Taxi Driver (90% done), Citizen Kane (50% done), Othello (99.99% done)

Possibly coming next: Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Ambersons (the theatrical cut, a reconstruction according to Prof. Carringer's script analysis, and the colorized version)
Author
Time
Not being interested in this release would be inconceivable! PM sent.
Author
Time

I'd love to get a copy of this: my favoriteist of all movies.
Author
Time
You are correct, sir, according to this site.

I'm guessing that the unmatted picture was never meant to be seen, judging by the microphone in frame.

--bdev


note: One of the next projects I'm considering is the Criterion version of DePalma's Carrie, which is the unmatted 4:3 version. I didn't see any boom mics in frame on that one, but maybe I will when I look closer!
Criterion Projects done: She's Gotta Have It, The Princess Bride, The Fisher King

In Progress Criterions: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (99% done), Taxi Driver (90% done), Citizen Kane (50% done), Othello (99.99% done)

Possibly coming next: Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Ambersons (the theatrical cut, a reconstruction according to Prof. Carringer's script analysis, and the colorized version)
Author
Time
i'd love to see this too! I'd like all the features i can get on this movie.
I'm always looking to trade my edits, if you don't want to get them from a torrent. PM or e-mail!
Author
Time
i'm super excited for this!

i [heart] preservations
Author
Time
one of my favorite films!! Thank you for doing this.
In it, not of it.
Author
Time
Ha!

You should withhold such praise until you see the finished product. My video/DVD abilities aren't up to my cover-making abilities, but I'm getting better with each one. Hopefully I didn't hype it too much!

Those of you to whom I am sending the discs, they will be out later this week. The stills are taking me longer than anticipated.

--bdev
Criterion Projects done: She's Gotta Have It, The Princess Bride, The Fisher King

In Progress Criterions: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (99% done), Taxi Driver (90% done), Citizen Kane (50% done), Othello (99.99% done)

Possibly coming next: Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Ambersons (the theatrical cut, a reconstruction according to Prof. Carringer's script analysis, and the colorized version)
Author
Time
Would it be possible to make a separate archive available with only the ROM extras? I'm on a slow connection, but I'd love to hear those commentary tracks.
Author
Time
Okay... the discs are done and will be in the mail tomorrow.



Some things (ie warts) to look for:

-The opening "Criterion Collection" splash was unintentionally cropped. I replaced the original black letterboxing bars with new black bars, reasoning that the noisy analog black would waste compression, and the new digital black would be easier to crunch down. I cropped to the edge of the film's frame, not remembering that the opening criteiron logo was 4:3. Since I had already gone through 22 hours of cinema craft compression time, I didn't go back and mess with what I feel is a minor point.

-Smearing on the dark scenes. This is an artifact of my laserdisc player. It looks the exact same coming from the LD on my television. Movement in darkness is severely smeared...look at their faces in the fire swamp. ech! (also the reason why I couldn't finish watching Halloween on LD). I'm looking into hacking up my old industrial player to see what kind of pure composite stream I can get.

-the behind the scenes stuff on the second disc comes from pure interlaced 3/4" magnetic tape, so all of that smearing isn't my fault, although it does match the rest of the video nicely.

-In my original post, I said I was going to include the essay from the '89 laserdisc, but as it has the critical depth of a 13-year-old myspace user reviewing the latest justin timberlake album, I left it off in lieu of Goldman's excellent account of getting the film's rights into the hands of a competent filmmaker.

Some things I learned:
-Adobe Encore blows. The compiler crashed about 75% of the time. The only way I could get it to function was to save the project, shut down the software, and then reopen it and compile before making any other changes. I wiill be using the old standby DVD-Lab in the future. Also, there's the nifty option to add files to a DVD-Rom folder, and then when you make the disc, it just dumps them in no directory at all, out there with VIDEO_TS. Oh yeah, there's also no AUDIO_TS. It played fine on my stand-alone dvd player, but if you're having problems, you may want to check a few other players to see if the quirky authoring from Encore isn't the culprit.

-It's hard to build a professional-looking menu that doesn't flicker on a cheap-ass wal-mart television.

-slideshows are inherently clunky to use... there's just no elegant way to present 75 pictures. I even meticulously created 75 menus with the pictures, and then carefully strung them together so that the navigation would be better, but Encore rejected that idea. Hence the extra week of work on these.



All negativity aside (the perfectionist in me was starting to be a stumbling block), I'm happy to finally have this content on DVD, and I'm proud of the artwork I created for its presentation.

If there are any problems, bugs, typos (I've already seen one,) let me know, and we'll see if it's something that can be rectified, hopefully online.

Enjoy,
--bdev

PS - there's an easter egg, too.
Criterion Projects done: She's Gotta Have It, The Princess Bride, The Fisher King

In Progress Criterions: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (99% done), Taxi Driver (90% done), Citizen Kane (50% done), Othello (99.99% done)

Possibly coming next: Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Ambersons (the theatrical cut, a reconstruction according to Prof. Carringer's script analysis, and the colorized version)
Author
Time
Okay is this the original version wear Andre The Giant was in it? I have seen diffirent version of this film but its not the one wear i remember at the beginning wear this boy and his grandfather is reading this book. I think this is the original version right i just wanted to know.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d167/dragon_1987/115975295212642.gif
Author
Time
wtf there is a version without andre the giant?

what are you talking about?
Author
Time
Yeah, sorry man, I really don't get what you're saying either. AFAIK the boy and his grandfather as well as Andre are in every version...
Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the war room!
Author
Time
Got the discs today! Will check them out later. many, many thanks!


Author
Time

got mine today as well!

thanks a lot! very thankful for that!
Join the dark side........ and get a free cookie!
Author
Time
Got mine today! Dude! Great job!

What laserdisc player do you have that everything looks so good
Author
Time
I used a CLD-D704 and a 39 dollar dazzle capture device I got from best buy.

Although it doesn't jive with the prevalent theory around here, I found I got better results using the S-video output. I got real nasty dot crawl with the composite. I think my next move will be to get a capture device with a better comb filter.

Enjoy!
--bdev
Criterion Projects done: She's Gotta Have It, The Princess Bride, The Fisher King

In Progress Criterions: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (99% done), Taxi Driver (90% done), Citizen Kane (50% done), Othello (99.99% done)

Possibly coming next: Ghostbusters, The Magnificent Ambersons (the theatrical cut, a reconstruction according to Prof. Carringer's script analysis, and the colorized version)
Author
Time

wanna know something! This DVD is SUPERB!!!! the menus are fantastic!

Give yourself a pat on the back and a beer mate!
Join the dark side........ and get a free cookie!
To the top